May 9, 2014 by Roman Ožana

How Tools Help Us Work Remotely

Image by David Joyce

Remote work is becoming more commonplace and allows startups to have access to talented individuals from around the world. There’s also a lot of benefits to working from home such as a better work/life balance and flexible scheduling, which in turn improves employee happiness and productivity.

At Wikidi, our teams (including Testomato) work both in the office and remotely. We’re not a fully distributed team, however team members often choose to work remotely at certain times throughout the week.

This is completely possible because of the great tools that are available to us. We’re continually experimenting and adding new ones to help improve our workflow and make sure we’re able to keep in touch with our users.

Here are some of the tools we use every day to make sure we stay connected and get our work done.

AgileZen: See what’s getting done


In a previous post, we shared how we use AgileZen’s Kanban board to help us track our work and understand our progress. Not only does it help us evaluate how well we work, but the Testomato board means the whole team has a place to stay organized and track items in real-time to see what work we’re getting done.

Confluence: Share ideas & collaborate


Although AgileZen can be used for this as well, we like to keep our board strictly for development. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been using Atlassian’s collaboration tool Confluence to help us share and discuss ideas, user feedback, and any problems that we might run into as a team.

We used to do a lot of these discussions over chat or by email, but quickly found ourselves getting lost!

Confluence means that everyone on the team is able to share their input in one organized space whether they’re in the office or working remotely.

Our development roadmap is also available in Confluence, and we receive alerts us when changes are made so that the whole team can stay on the same page.

Jabber: Chat connects the team


A chat tool is essential to keep remote teams connected and to help resolve pressing issues.

We have a chat room for all Wikidi project teams to stay connected. Of course, we have other discussions here, but it’s also a way for everyone to be aware of any company-wide issues that might affect their projects.

Additionally, Testomato has its own chat room where everyone can check in keep up with what’s going on that day, discuss real-time users issues, or ask questions.

Email: A workflow staple

It’s easy not to mention email with all the other tools out there, but it’s still a major part of company communication. We have emails set up to send to individuals, entire project teams, or everyone in the company.

Additionally, email is our main tool for customer support. We also have Facebook page and Twitter profile where we welcome user requests and issues as well.

Private Network: Access to all files

We have a private network that allows all Wikidi project teams to have access to their online staging environments and Atom (our shared private storage server). Everyone has a VPN client set up for their home computer to allow them access to our private network and any files they might need while they’re working outside the office.

What tools does your team use to keep in touch and get things done?

Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook. You can also tweet us directly @testomatocom.

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